October 24, 2014

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February: the month of love PDF Print E-mail
Written by B.J. Ault   
Monday, February 10, 2014 5:36 PM

Love yourself. Love your parents. Love your spouse/significant other. Love your neighbor. Love the weather. Love your earth. (You did see that one coming, right?)

Yes, love the earth. Show that love in the choices you make daily, just as you would in any other relationship.
Everything that we need to live, we get from the earth. Historically, we have abused that. We have made demands on the earth with little or no thought about the long-term consequences of our actions.

Chief Seattle, in his famous speech, said, “The earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth.” It is our responsibility to take care of the earth’s gifts entrusted to us so that future generations may also enjoy them.

This month renew your resolution to take better care of our earth. You can take small steps. The more people who take small steps, the bigger the difference we will make. What can you do? I am glad you asked.

The first suggestion, from the Dearborn County Recycling Center of course, is to reduce, reuse and recycle. Reduce the amount of waste you generate by purchasing more durable goods and fewer disposables; this will reduce your demands on the earth. Before trashing an item, consider reusing it. Get creative in seeking new purposes for unwanted objects. Recycle everything you can, wherever you are. If you are not sure what can be recycled in Dearborn County, check out DearbornCountyRecycles.com.

Learn to love the earth and appreciate its gifts. The recent snow and ice wreaked havoc for many people. Who stopped to admire the beauty? Who saw the sun glistening on the newly-fallen snow or the ice-covered trees?

Think warm thoughts and spring. Though the seed catalogs arrived prior to the winter holidays, I have just recently taken an interest in them. Plot your garden space now. Plan to add some new varieties of colorful plants to your flowerbeds.

Research composting methods. Do it before the weather changes. Then you will be ready to get rid of last year’s debris and work the soil in preparation for this year’s plants. Check out Earth911.com for ways to grow vegetables without planting seeds. Read their article before adding onions, celery, carrots or pineapple to your compost pile.

Earth911 has some good ideas for making recycled bird feeders.

I especially like the ones made from juice cartons or floppy disks, because neither of these items are recyclable in this area. I also like the articles on reusing T-shirts or wine bottles and corks. This is a good website for earth-friendly, do-it-yourself ideas.

Parents and Grandparents: Teach children to love the earth, too.

Here are a few books for the early reader among them: I Love Our Earth by Bill Martin, Jr.; For the Love of Our Earth, by P. K. Hallinan; and Teaching Kids to Love the Earth by Marina Herman et al. The I Love Our Earth series by Carol Greene includes forests, animals, people, water, and air.

If you haven’t had enough of this weather yet, here are a couple for your enjoyment: Ice is Whee and Snow Joe, both by Carol Greene. Soon we will be looking for Rain! Rain! or Please, wind? also by Carol Greene.

B.J. Ault is director of the Dearborn County Solid Waste Management District.